Phone and Learn - PaL, was set up in the UK in 2005 and is an affiliate of the Partners in Torah organisations in the USA. The programme is open to anyone Jewish who wishes to explore any aspect of his or her Jewish heritage - be it practical, spiritual or even mystical!
The concept is simple. PaL 'partners' are matched up with an experienced PaL 'tutor' for a weekly one-to-one study session either on the phone or Skype. Partners can pick the Jewish topic of their choice to learn, at a time and from a location that fits into their own particular schedule. And best of all, the programme is completely free - PaL even covers the cost of the telephone calls!
Alison Rubenstein, a long-standing United Synagogue member tells of her PaL learning experience: "I've been a member of the United Syngagogue my whole life, originally from Beehive Lane, followed by Chigwell and now Bushey. Despite the years of cheder classes three times a week, my knowledge of Judaism never seemed to progress from what I had been taught as a child, and Shul services were impossible to understand or derive meaning from."
"Years later, through Tribe, the youth arm of the United Synagogue, my children benefitted from much improved learning, built on authentic Jewish values. This meant they were starting to know more than me and in a more meaningful context. In November 2011 I registered with PaL and was soon matched with a PaL tutor. Together we covered a variety of Jewish topics in our weekly telephone learning sessions."
"The PaL programme is both a simple and a powerful idea as I can choose to learn from the comfort of my home at a time that suits me, no matter how many things I am trying to juggle that particular week. Flexibility is the key - topic, length of session, breaks, time of day/evening, are all agreed with my PaL partner, yet we are able to reschedule to suit us when needed. The topic is always relevant and interesting and no time or expense if wasted on travel. In fact there is no expense at all!"
"The PaL team is very supportive. They ensure that people can learn any topic at whatever level suits them. Recently it seemed that a new PaL tutor would match my changing needs. The Follow-up Coordinators at PaL were really helpful in finding me an appropriate tutor. It is now a few weeks into my new learning partnership and, yet again, my PaL tutor is proving to be an excellant match. I would really recommend this route to others. Through my PaL learning sessions I now have a much more accurate and more positive attitude to many apsects of Judaism. Shul services are a lot easier to understand, meaning I can save my chatting for the kiddush!"
PaL Programme Coordinator , Rivka Graham remarks: "The main goal of PaL, is to make exploring Judaism, accessible for everyone. This unique telephone based learning programme, is avaliable to any Jewish person. Whatever their age, location or level of knowledge, PaL is there to find a suitable tutor for them."
Hundreds of Jews are connecting to explore their Jewish Heritage on a weekly basis. Although the majority of PaL learning partnerships are based in the UK, there are a growing number of PaL partnerships in Europe, South Africa, Australia and even New Zealand.
For more information about the PaL programme or to register as a partner, visit www.phoneandlearn.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 08000 553 276.
Now is the time to 'get connected' to your Jewish heritage with PaL - Phone and Learn.